By Aishwarya S:
I shall begin with some standard advice – “love yourself”. Fair enough, right? It makes enough sense to be a cliché now. Even when Aristotle talked about friendship, he said self-love is the purest kind of love. But wait! It’s all very well to be deep, to be philosophical, to be well meaning and motivational. Let’s get a bit more crude. Have you ‘made love’ to yourself?
I just cringed typing that.
Have you masturbated? Played with yourself? Jilled-off? (Ugh.) Shlicked? (Ugh.) Played the clitar? (Okay, I actually like that one a lot.)
Did reading that make you cringe a little?
I don’t presume to know the inner thoughts of everyone who comes across this piece, what I do know, though, is that a large number of people in my vicinity still consider female masturbation to be taboo. I have talked openly about sex with my female friends, laughed about it, discussed it seriously, but when masturbating is brought up…crickets. Is that a nervous giggle I hear?! I hope so. That’s something at least.
When we have discussions surrounding male masturbation, they are incredibly common, accepted, laughed about and it even has a neat set of lingo attached to it. It’s just default. But that is not the fault. The problem is that female masturbation is rarely discussed as openly and when it is discussed, it seems to be almost embarrassing. An odd awkwardness seems to envelop the topic. Along with vehement claims of never having masturbated.
Do women just not masturbate that much? Maybe. I have not had the pleasure to check the masturbatory habits of all the women around me.
But perhaps they should.
If there’s one thing I’d want to tell every woman who claims to be personally uncomfortable with masturbating, it’d be this: “Are you sure that’s how you feel, or is that how you think you’re supposed to feel?”
Love yourself. Try it. It’s been therapeutic for me. Learn about how fantastic that body of yours is, how it can make you feel so amazing, and all you need to do is give yourself some love. As an added bonus, it has pain killing properties. I can’t remember the last time I popped a pill when I had those awful menstrual cramps.
You don’t have to be skinny with a perfect, blemish-free hairless body, to deserve absolute sexual pleasure knowing how to please yourself is also you exercising your agency. You control your body. Open yourself to the idea and let go of all shame – it’s your body and it is yours to do with what you please. And if that means not masturbating, that’s okay too. But let the reason for that come from within you, and not from outside.
Originally published on The Raging Feminists